Quite a few of you have been requesting some sort of A-League article so here it is! I’ll keep this post up for discussion over the first week of fixtures, whilst taking you through my attempt at a team. Be warned, I’m no A-league expert! This looks to be a tough season, but here goes nothing… EDIT: For those wondering a Q & A will be posted today to be followed by a return to our normal schedule. Bring back the EPL!Well firstly it must be said, the budget is ridiculously harsh this season. But that can only make for a great challenge! I’ve followed the a-league for a few years and played the foxsports fantasy game, so I have a rough idea about most of the players. This is also the website I’ll be referring to and you can join up here. More on leagues later.
I’m not sure I know enough of the players well enough to do an in-depth analysis, however I can take you through my squad I squeezed together.
Goalkeepers: In goals I have gone with the boring selection of Theo, as I think Brisbane are going to bounce back this season. Spoonley could get a game for Wellington so he sits on the pine. I really wanted Covic but it unfortunately hindered me elsewhere. With the tight budget I think this is the best budget friendly combo and should provide the best value. If you can reach Covic then fantastic.
Defenders: I usually like to have some depth on the bench here, especially knowing how volatile the a-league defences can be. However it is hard to do so when you don’t know the best budget options available. I have picked Petrovski and Boxall because I can and they’re cheap, once the season gets underway some youngsters will come through the system and bargains will reveal themselves. Polenz was a midfielder in last years game and will benefit greatly from clean sheets received in last year’s top defence. 200k seems great value for his solid job security. Leijer picks himself at 175k in the heart of Melbourne Victory’s defence, whilst finally Roux (125k) looks great value as he tries to plug the massive gap at right back left by the ever seemingly present Bojic.
Midfielders: Boy this guy can be frustrating, but I couldn’t leave Flores out at 275k. He has the potential to be the top scoring mid and he showcased his immense talents a couple of seasons ago at Adelaide. He annoyed the living hell out of everyone last season at the Victory, but has been scoring for fun in pre-season. Let’s hope that continues! Broich (300k) is going to be my most expensive selection, however I’m not totally convinced myself yet. He has shown us that at his peak he is in the top 3 players in the A-League, however it was few and far between for the Roar last season. I’m putting a lot of faith in him to bounce back this year, don’t let me down Broich! If you can reach them, lock in Ono or Del Piero (forward, I know), they will continue to stand head and shoulders above everyone in the a-league, even at their ages. Troisi (200k) looks to be decent value in midfield, on loan from Serie A side Atlanta. He is an attacking midfielder and should slot into a CAM role at the Victory with Flores gone. However I have gone with Mitch Nichols (250k), just because of his known job security. Selecting these new players is very risky and I will be giving them a round or two to show me their worth. My final starter spot has gone to Zahra (150k), I couldn’t go without a glory player! He should start for us and I expect him to have a decent season, but only the returns of a budget mid, be patient! Value in midfield around 150k seems hard to find, we should know more after a few rounds. Finally I have gone with Kamara (75k) on the pine, he is a great young talent but won’t play too often. If you can reach him then McFlynn looks good value if he can maintain a starting spot in Sydney’s side, he has proved over the years he’s got what it takes to get the points on the board. More of a selection in hope than anything else.
Forwards: Tough to pick. Smeltz hasn’t been that same clinical striker at the Glory as he was everywhere else, however you don’t forget where the goals are. At 275k he could provide great value, and as a Glory fan I think Im going to go with him. However I am torn between Ifill at the same price, purely because he was still getting the results on the board last season! If you can reach him then I think berisha may be a worthy selection, while of course Del Piero is head and shoulders above everyone. Neumann (Jeronimooooooo) looks great value at 225k for what he can deliver, after 7 goals and 3 assists in half a year last season. he bagged a brace against the Glory in the same fixture last season and will be a menace again this year. Finally I have gone to the bargain bin and picked up Henrique at 175k. He was riddled by inury last season but when fit he is a classy player. penalty duties help his cause and if Brisbane can regain their dominace of 2011/12, watch out.
So there you have it! I’m sure there will be many things to change once we get more of an idea who will be the hot buys this season, there’s so much player movement in the A-League that he can be hard to select a starting XI based on last season.
I have made a classic league to compete against in each other in, here’s the code: 10429-2048
Hopefully this will keep us entertained this weekend with no fpl! We will be doing a Q&A this weekend before we return with our weekly articles as normal from Tuesday!
Until then you can keep the debate going in the comments below, if you have any questions feel free to ask away. Good luck!